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Accident description
Last updated: 16 October 2017
Status:
Date:Thursday 23 January 1941
Time:04:13
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3B-202
Operator:Transcontinental & Western Air - TWA
Registration: NC17315
C/n / msn: 1930
First flight: 1937
Engines: 2 Wright R-1820-G102
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 11
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 14
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:0,7 km (0.4 mls) W of Saint Louis Airport, MO (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Kansas City Municipal Airport, MO (MKC/KMKC), United States of America
Destination airport:Saint Louis-Lambert Municipal Airport, MO (STL/KSTL), United States of America
Flightnumber:Trip 6
Narrative:
The DC-3B operated TWA Trip 6 from Los Angeles, California to New York and departed on January 22, 1941 at 13:10 PST. The fight was routed via Phoenix, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas to Kansas City, Missouri where it arrived at 02:08 on January 23. A crew change took place before the flight was to continue to New York via Saint Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The flight departed at 02:44 in instrument conditions and proceeded normally at the cruising altitude of 7000 feet. As the aircraft was descending towards Saint Louis, weather information was passed on the the crew. Ceiling observed at 03:55 was 500 feet, visibility 1,5 mile in light drizzle and light fog. Scattered clouds were reported at 200 feet.
The captain commenced the final approach with the intention to land on the No.1 east-west runway. The aircraft broke out of the clouds at about 300 ft above the ground. The captain then aborted the approach and the aircraft crossed the east end of the runway diagonally from south to north.
Immediately after passing the west boundary of the airport, the captain started a left turn, apparently in order to make a landing from south to north on runway No.6. During this turn the wing brushed trees and the flight crew lost control. Parts were torn off as the aircraft carreened through several other trees. Just before the airplane came to rest it struck a high tension line and pole and the fuselage was broken in two near the center of the cabin.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The action of the pilot in attempting a landing under adverse weather conditions in disregard of the minimums prescribed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration and in maneuvering for such a landing at a dangerously low altitude."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Sources:
» CAB Report


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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Kansas City Municipal Airport, MO to Saint Louis-Lambert Municipal Airport, MO as the crow flies is 366 km (229 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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